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Diablo 4 makes greater efforts than ever before to tell a compelling story that involves the player, which is why the game’s various characters and classes will all be fully voiced in cutscenes this time around. We catch up with Joseph Balderrama – who voices the male sorcerer – to talk about his character and his experiences working on Diablo 4.

We also spoke to John Mueller and Joe Piepiora about Diablo 4's development, so check out that interview at that link.

Balderrama describes his character as “an all-powerful, ethereal being. He’s controlled and contained and when all things around him are going sideways he keeps calm,” Balderrama says.

Balderrama has a lot of past experience voicing for video games, playing co-protagonist Cody in It Takes Two, as well as various NPCs in games such as Dragon Quest XI, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and Live A Live. And he found that taking the role of a player character that can be heavily customized has its benefits and challenges.

Diablo 4 gameplay

“You have a lot more involvement in the game and you’re seeing a lot more content as you’re recording,” Balderrama says, “so you understand the narrative line for the game more. But also, functionally, what the player character has to do is guide the player and try to interfere as little and as non-irritatingly as possible. So the challenge is to find a characterization that you can invest in and believe in without interfering with the player’s experience of the game – something that you can be true to for the whole process.”

Diablo was an immediately appealing prospect to Balderrama as the overall themes and narrative stand out from other games he’s worked on.

“I’ve never worked on another game that is set in an underworld environment,” Balderrama says. “The gothic nature of the game sets it aside, but also how important the narrative is in the gameplay. Plus the way it looks. I’ve seen a lot of the art and I was just so taken with how beautiful it is. I said to [Joe Piepiora] that it looks like a Caravaggio, it has that dark black and red scope. In my view, it’s a work of art and I think that level of artistry is what makes it a level above similar games.”


With an emphasis on narrative, it was important to Balderrama and the narrative team that the wider context of the world and story weren’t forgotten during recording sessions.

“There was always a writer in the room when we were recording,” Balderrama explains, “so we always had access to a full understanding of where we were. It’s not a linear narrative – it can be quite confusing to record – so we worked very closely with the writing team throughout the process. If there was something that didn’t make sense we’d address that in the moment, and we’d frequently come back and rerecord lines just with marginal changes to them in order for it to work better with the narrative.”

With the release date fast approaching, Balderrama is looking forward to getting the game in the hands of players so they can experience some of the lighter moments he injected into his character.

Diablo 4 angel.

“[I hope that] all the work, energy, and pure artistry that has gone into it gets felt,” he says. “One of the things that came out of it for me is that there was loads of humor.

“We have [my character], who under all circumstances remains calm. There are a few moments where things are emotional but my palette of emotion had to be contained within a tight sphere. As much as that’s a challenge, it also gave us loads of moments of humor. Maybe it’s because I have a dark sense of humor [but I enjoyed] moments where this character walks into carnage all around him is fairly unphased by it. That contrast created some moments where people can laugh in the darkness.”

Prepare to laugh your way through the depths of Hell when Diablo 4 launches on June 6, 2023, for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.